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Irene Mincine


Valerie Carillon was in her guest quarters on the starbase. Like the rest of the Excalibur’s crew, she had been evacuated while the shattered wreck was towed home. As a pilot, Val was unhappy to be effectively grounded. Nothing made her feel alive like being in the cockpit and it seemed like it would be a while before that happened again.

It was time for her usual evening ritual. She was washing her face in the small washroom area. She was cautious as always around her artificial eye. She put a patch over it to protect it during the night.

She hated the eye which didn’t match the natural blue eye next to it and gave her headaches and was sure was out of focus and was the first thing people noticed when they saw her. She hated the artificial forearm whose color was always just slightly off from the rest of her skin and whose connective seam to her upper arm was always visible to her and that itched when she tried to sleep.

Worse, they reminded her of the Borg. They’d taken her parents from her along with so many others that she knew, growing up with the other Starfleet brats on Starbase 44. The very thought that she had anything in common with them repulsed her.

She’d asked the same questions so many times. The eye was yellow, Commander Martinez had explained, because of natural genetic variation that precluded using implants with natural colors. Human skin pigmentation naturally varied with age and exposure to UV light, he had explained, so there was no way for it to perfectly match the rest of her skin.

The only thing she hated more than the fake parts was the smug commander who lectured her about them. He had answers for everything, even questions she hadn’t asked yet. And he was always so interested in her health and her future. Sometimes she wished they’d left her to die in the debris field, not put her back together in a starbase. There would be no smug commanders and no future. Only eternity.

The door chime rang, breaking her out of her cycle of thoughts. “Ugh, hold on,” yelled Val from across the room.

Edited by Irene Mincine

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